We would like to welcome Krystle Williams to the team at ATAP. Krystle will be taking on the Accreditation Officer role whilst Erin McLeod is on maternity leave.
Krystle brings a lot of energy and enthusiasm to the role and is looking forward to working with you all on your businesses accreditation and continuous development.
If you need to contact Krystle her email is firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (03) 9620 4199
February 24, 2012 at 10:27 am | General | No comment
As you are probably aware, at ATAP we are pretty big on risk management for accredited businesses. We talk about various kinds of risk: natural, economic, financial, human, etc, but have you ever thought that the legal structure of your business might constitute a risk?
In general terms, in Australia, there are four legal structures available to someone wanting to start a business:
- sole trader;
- private company; or
- public company.
There are many things to think about when considering what structure to adopt, including registration cost, compliance, access to finance, taxation and so on. In this instance we will be looking at ‘liability’. That is, who is responsible for the debts incurred by the business, especially if the business itself isn’t in a position to pay them.
For sole traders and partnerships, the liability of the owners of the business is unlimited. No distinction is drawn between the business and its owners and, if things go wrong, personal assets of the owners, such as family homes or motor vehicles may be put at risk.
Companies, whether private (with shareholdings and trading of shares limited) or public (with shares able to be sold to the general public) are considered to be legal entities in their own right. This means that they can do the sort of thing that a person operating a business can do – they can borrow funds, they can enter into contracts. In this sense they are considered to be separate to their owners and thus, in a general sense, the owners enjoy limited liability.
Limited liability means that only the assets of the legal entity (the company) can be used to pay the debts of the company if it is wound up, thus protecting the personal assets of shareholders and directors. As mentioned above, this holds true in a general sense. As we have seen from some high profile legal cases in recent times, if directors ignore their legal responsibilities they can still be exposed to personal risk.
So, what form of entity is your business? If you are a sole trader or a partnership, perhaps you should be thinking about incorporating. Incorporation and a company structure is only for big companies like BHP, I hear you say. Not true, there are lots of little companies around, often with one or two directors and board meetings around the kitchen table.
If you would like to find out more about this topic, have a look at section four, the business plan builder, in ATAP’s online accreditation program It has links to various business advice services as well as government agencies like ASIC and the ATO. After that, the next step is probably to get some advice from an expert in the field.
February 24, 2012 at 10:10 am | General | No comment
The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival has a great line up of events. This year they also have a program of industry dedicated events which aims to inspire and engage individuals and businesses across the food, wine and hospitality industry.
If you are interested in attending one of these industry events you can find out more from the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival website
February 24, 2012 at 10:08 am | General | No comment
Please find below information from VTIC and Tourism Victoria regarding bushfire safety resource materials:
Informing travellers about bushfire safety
This summer, Tourism Victoria has a kit of free materials available to tourism businesses and accommodation booking agencies to inform visitors about bushfire safety.
These materials have been developed in conjunction with the CFA and can be ordered online at www.tourism.vic.gov.au/bushfiresafety.
Research conducted by Sweeney Research in October 2011 found that despite an increase in bushfire safety awareness since the 2009 bushfires, more visitor education is needed.
It also indicated that visitors appreciate and expect tourism businesses to have general bushfire safety information, an understanding of local conditions and action plans in case of an emergency.
The kit for tourism businesses and accommodation booking agencies includes a supply of brochures, fridge magnets, key tags, Township Protection Plans and a Fire Danger Rating display.
The materials explain where to go for local bushfire updates and provide advice on what to do on days with a Very High, Severe, Extreme, or Code Red Fire Danger Ratings.
To order a bushfire safety resource kit or find out more visit www.tourism.vic.gov.au/bushfiresafety